2023 Canadian Peony Society National Show – June 9-11, Oshawa, Ontario


Blaine Marchand

The Power of Many

It is such a clear memory. Jamie and I had bought the Second-Empire schoolhouse three years earlier, in 1998. This property in Osceola Ontario came with almost two acres of land on which we immediately started building gardens. It was early Saturday morning at the beginning of June 2001 and we were doing the rounds of garage sales, as we were wont to do way back then. CBC Ottawa’s flagship weekend show, In Town and Out, was playing. The host introduced a woman called Mary Pratte who was there to promote a peony show at Rideau Hall, June 16th and 17th. As we listened, her enthusiasm for peonies really captured our attention. Jamie turned and said – “Now there is a plant we could collect as showpieces throughout our gardens.” And so, the bug was caught.

Blaine Marchand
John's Dream Peony
This beauty is also 2023’s Peony of the Year!


Johns’ Dream

If you were fortunate enough to attend a presentation by John Simkins in the 1990s to early 2000s, you had an opportunity to purchase some of his small potted peony seedlings ($1 or $2 mystery plants). We purchased a tree peony seedling at a local horticultural meeting and some of our friends also bought seedlings at a show at the Royal Botanical Garden in Hamilton. As Joe and I began giving presentations, we often saw flower shows with impressive peonies, results of John’s hybridizing. Some gardeners shared roots of their plants so we could evaluate them in our growing conditions.


Peterborough, Ontario

Joe and Hazel Cook with their daughter Amy
are well known for their family business, Blossom Hill Nursery located near Peterborough. It was established in 1994, specializing in the hybridization and propagation of British Delphinium elatum. A second passion resulted in an extensive peony collection of over 650 varieties including species, tree, herbaceous and intersectional peonies. The Cooks are hybridizing and propagating the peonies, including grafting 100 varieties of tree peonies.

Amy, Joe and Hazel of Blossom Hill Nursery

Who We Are

We are a Society dedicated to the growth and development of Peonies. We are always looking for new members and enthusiasts to join the Society, so join us and come and share your passion!

Support The Society

Support the Canadian Peony Society. Click the "Donate" button below. Enter the amount you wish to donate in Canadian dollars. You have the option of paying using any major credit card or by Paypal.

Contact Info

Canadian Peony Society
4338 Line 26
St. Pauls, ON N0K 1V0